10 Things to Do
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Disaster Preparedness Plan
Know Your Risks
- Know the weather trends.
Identify the types of weather events to which your business may be vulnerable. Visit ready.gov/today and select your state for information and preparedness tips on the natural hazards in your area.
- Identify your business-critical assets and operations.
List essential internal and external products, services and facilities as well as utilities and services such as electricity, water, gas and transportation.
- Assess the potential impact.
Pinpoint the emergencies that could occur as a result of an extreme weather event, such as a power outage, structural damage, building collapse or a chemical release. Identify how each would affect your employees, your property and the critical aspects of your business.
- Understand your insurance coverage.
Review and update your insurance annually with your insurance agent. Keep insurance information and contact names and numbers in a safe place in case of an emergency.
Focus on Prevention
- Secure and protect your building.
Do everything you can to prevent the possible emergencies you've identified. Install prevention and safety systems and check them regularly.
- Protect vital business records.
Keep your most important documents in a safe that has been tested and listed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary tools and torches.
- Back up data and software daily.
This can help speed recovery from data loss or hardware failure. Send back-up copies to a location separate from your primary facility at least once a week.
Develop a Plan — and Keep It Up to Date
- Create an emergency response plan.
Establish procedures for communicating an emergency to your employees, shutting down operations, fighting fires, protecting vital records and evacuating the premises.
- Create a business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan spells out how you'll restore operations once an event has passed.
- Create an emergency kit and list of contact numbers.
Include essential items such as first aid supplies, flashlights, battery powered radio, tool kit, extra batteries, nonperishable food and bottled water. Make sure the kit is easy to access during an emergency.
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